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View Full Version : Reason for lack of "Fearless" units in CSM Codex



Valaskjalf1414
08-01-2013, 18:28
Hey guys

Ive been wracking my brain the past month of so trying to understand the logic behind GW making so few units Fearless in the new codex. Apart from Characters,the 4 cult choices and Spawn no other units can be Fearless. Instead the VotlW is simply a gimmick, improving your LD at a cost yet still not making any units fearless. The biggest joke is Obliterators being LD8, the same as a Wolf Scout - Regular SW Grey Hunters have "ATSKNF", yet a Fear-causing raptor will run away if things get too tough.

The irony is, of all the Marine armies, Chaos should be THE army to have Fearless all the way through or have a substantial amount of Fearless units in the army. It just makes no sense to me....what do you guys think? Apart from most of the new units' rules/abilities not being thought through or the units themselves being overpriced, I think the above mentioned fact is the thing giving me the biggest gripe with the new codex.

Whats your take on it?

IcedCrow
08-01-2013, 18:34
Because leadership is kind of pointless when everything is fearless, like has been the case in 40k nearly forever.

And most of my army (plague marines) are fearless. Normal CSM don't need to be fearless. They are genetically strengthened bullies essentially. They are warriors, skilled, but understand what fear is and run if you tear into them.

ArtificerArmour
08-01-2013, 18:35
Fearless is over done in 40k, maybe 40k is attempting to be a better, more cerebral game than i used to be, where leadership and morale based rules actually have a point?

Valaskjalf1414
08-01-2013, 18:41
Fair enough...but hopefully we will see this take effect across the board in 6th Edition releases for all Marine Armies.

MagicHat
08-01-2013, 18:42
Icon of vengence gives fearless.

The problem is not that there is to little Fearless, it is that there are to much ATSKNF. I even think that ATSKNF fear is better then Fearless currently.

Valaskjalf1414
08-01-2013, 18:46
Icon of vengence gives fearless.

The problem is not that there is to little Fearless, it is that there are to much ATSKNF. I even think that ATSKNF fear is better then Fearless currently.

Yeah thats probably the real issue. The fact that we are pretty much forced to buy it to compete with ATSKNF, which in most instances is included in Marine armies as part of their profile.

squeekenator
08-01-2013, 18:47
Fearless is over done in 40k, maybe 40k is attempting to be a better, more cerebral game than i used to be, where leadership and morale based rules actually have a point?

I've never quite understood this argument. Perhaps with an entirely different morale system less fearlessness would be a good thing, but Warhammer has always had awful morale rules. Essentially they boil down to "if X happens, roll 2d6 and hope it's a low number". I don't see how a small chance after taking casualties to just lose an entire squad and a larger chance to suffer no consequences at all adds anything but stupid and unnecessary luck to the game. Even Fantasy's morale system is basically the same; when it comes to fear, terror and panic it's 40K's same old "roll 2d6 and pray"; even break tests are largely determined by having more dudes and killing more stuff than your opponent, which 40K's vestigal combat resolution system already rewards. Fantasy's combat res system only becomes cerebral and interesting due to the bonuses for flank and rear charges, but there's no reason to have an extensive, shoddily designed morale system for that. Just make flank charges give +1 to hit or something and you can make them every bit as rewarding without having a silly luck based morale system. In fact, that would probably work out better than the current system, because a lucky roll can still let you hold after taking a front, flank and rear charge simultaneously, whereas bonuses to hit, simply because you roll a lot more dice when attacking than when making morale tests, are far less affected by chance. If you get 40 attacks with +1 to hit from your rear charge it's still possible that you don't roll a single 3 with all those dice and your number of hits doesn't improve at all, but the chance of that happening is so incredibly low it's not worth worrying about, whereas a 2 on 2d6 isn't really that uncommon.

Mauler
08-01-2013, 18:49
Because leadership is kind of pointless when everything is fearless, like has been the case in 40k nearly forever.

And most of my army (plague marines) are fearless. Normal CSM don't need to be fearless. They are genetically strengthened bullies essentially. They are warriors, skilled, but understand what fear is and run if you tear into them.

You are spot-on for the most part, but I disagree with a Chaos Marine's motive for bailing on a battle: I'd put it down more to self-preservation than fear. But yeah, I don't think that most Traitors are still kicking after 10,000 years of warfare by being fearless and getting slaughtered by an overwhelming foe. :)

Hengist
08-01-2013, 19:00
...but Warhammer has always had awful morale rules. Essentially they boil down to "if X happens, roll 2d6 and hope it's a low number".

Back in the olden days (Warhammer 3rd edition and earlier) there were innumerable modifiers to leadership tests (or rather to psychology tests, as they were then called, since the game had four different stats - Leadership, Cool, Willpower and Intelligence - to do the job); the present system is a vestige of that. You're right that it's a poor system, but in context it's not half so deleterious to playing a game that isn't dominated by random chance as 6th edition's 2D6 charge ranges.

squeekenator
08-01-2013, 19:06
Back in the olden days (Warhammer 3rd edition and earlier) there were innumerable modifiers to leadership tests (or rather to psychology tests, as they were then called, since the game had four different stats - Leadership, Cool, Willpower and Intelligence - to do the job); the present system is a vestige of that. You're right that it's a poor system, but in context it's not half so deleterious to playing a game that isn't dominated by random chance as 6th edition's 2D6 charge ranges.

Ah, true. I wasn't thinking that far back. Well, perhaps I should amend that statement to something along the lines of "all iterations of Warhammer's current morale system have been awful". As for random charge ranges being worse for the game, you may be right about that, I'm not sure. Haven't had much experience with 6e, and all the experience I have had was with shooting-baed armies. But just because X is a bad mechanic doesn't mean we should add bad mechanic Y as well.

Valaskjalf1414
08-01-2013, 19:19
The issue I have is probably more with the release schedules between Codices. I understand that realistically all armies can't be balanced out within the first few months of a new RuleBook/Codex, but when you look at the new Chaos codex, it seems that GW could be heading in a new direction. The problem is that, apart from GW trying to play it really safe with this codex, this is the first codex written specifically for 6ed and so it wont be a couple of years before Chaos will face the other races on a more even playing field.

For all we know the over abundance of ATSKNF in Marine armies will be addressed with the subsequent releases of 6ed Codices, but until such time Chaos will suck on the hind teet in 6th edition.

Who knows, perhaps Im just somewhat disappointed in general with the way the Codex turned out and the whole "Fearless v ATSKNF" was just something I could bitch over lol

Hengist
08-01-2013, 19:19
Ah, true. I wasn't thinking that far back. Well, perhaps I should amend that statement to something along the lines of "all iterations of Warhammer's current morale system have been awful". As for random charge ranges being worse for the game, you may be right about that, I'm not sure. Haven't had much experience with 6e, and all the experience I have had was with shooting-baed armies. But just because X is a bad mechanic doesn't mean we should add bad mechanic Y as well.

Oh, I wasn't defending the system, so much as adding a partial explanation, and indeed, inherited dodgy morale mechanics are no excuse for adding worse movement mechanics. You hit the nail on the head with the rest of your post: the law of large numbers makes large pools of dice tend towards the average, while isolated 2D6 rolls are more prone to extremes, and thus the point at which blind luck is most likely to dictate a game. I don't know how I'd fix the morale system, but it's a very obvious weak point of 40k's rules as things stand.

Lord Inquisitor
08-01-2013, 19:32
Really, the overproliferation of Fearless in 40K has been a problem for a while and it is obviously something they're trying to fix. In fairness, Grey Knights went from Fearless to ATSKNF. Inquisitors lost their Fearless/Flee choice (apart from 1 SC). Death Cultists and Arcos went from Fearless to just Ld8. Sisters have less Fearless.

Really there was way too much Fearless in the Chaos book last edition. Why should Chaos Marines be Fearless anyway? Even Cult troops (with the obvious exception of Thousand Sons). To a degree Noise Marines and Bezerkers were Immune to Psychology (due to Frenzy and Mark of Slaanesh) back in 2nd but that doesn't necessarily translate to Fearless. Cult troops being Stubborn might make more sense.

As for normal Chaos Marines - why should they be Fearless? They see no value in laying down their lives for others. They are experienced and have no wish to show cowardice before their masters - but you think they got to be 10,000 year old veterans by standing and fighting a hopeless battle to the last breath?

Valaskjalf1414
08-01-2013, 19:47
Well I suppose, but for me it makes more sense for them to be less susceptible to fear than regular Marines armies for the simple fact that they serve chaos gods. If that doesnt scare them, why would they be scared of some marines? lol The biggest frustration is reading the Raptor fluff in the codex...They apparently thrive on "sadism and psychological warfare" and killing their enemies isnt enough they want to scare them stiff whenever they're around the "skies are haunted" and it threatens to drive the enemy insane.....not. Raptors are more likely to run and hide under a bed while their MEQ's are immune to their fear.

With regards to what you said on fearless and forcing a unit to fight a hopeless battle...in the case of raptors why not give them the Hit & Run ability?

Lord Inquisitor
08-01-2013, 20:08
But where does it say Raptors are super-brave to the point of suicidal last stands? I don't think that's the raptor cult or night lord way of fighting at all. They're terror specialists, if the enemy actually mounts a serious attack on them, why should they stick around to die? Much more likely to slink away to attack again when the enemy doesn't expect it. They're into sowing terror, but why should that make them brave? If anything it makes plenty of sense that they're bullies and cowards at heart. Disciplined and not easily rattled, sure, but only out to save their own necks in the end.

Besides the Loyalists have their own silly rules. And They Shall Know No Fear ... but Chapter Tactics lets them run away any time they like. "And They Shall Know No Fear But Run Away Like Girls" :rolleyes:

A.T.
08-01-2013, 20:10
Raptors are more likely to run and hide under a bed while their MEQ's are immune to their fear.Self serving practicality vs brainwashed idealism.

Fearless models will stand their ground and watch the orbital bombardment fall upon them rather than diving for cover, fearless models will press the assault against a titan with nothing but a combat knife.

Making ATSKNF immune to the fear effect was a bit of a cop out though.

Lord Inquisitor
08-01-2013, 20:15
Making ATSKNF immune to the fear effect was a bit of a cop out though.
In all fairness they Know No Fear. Be a bit silly if they were subject to Fear really... :p

IcedCrow
08-01-2013, 20:16
Couple points:

* not all chaos marines are 10,000 years old. There is nothing solid written but to me there aren't many of the original legionairies left save for demon princes or the very old veteran. Current marines can and do turn to the side of chaos, and many chaos warbands are not one legion but a collection of legions fighting for whatever cause they are fighting for at the moment (just like not all plague marines are death guard, not all tzeentch marines are rubric thousand sons, etc)

* random charge distance is neither good nor bad in and of itself. It is good for those that enjoy reactionary games and having to formulate reactionary branching tactics / logic, and bad for those that like set tactics. It's worth is wholly subjective on where the presenter's opinion sits as to what they want out of the game (reactionary vs set)

The morale system is not horrible, but neither is it the greatest thing ever. It could do with some tweaking. Making more things fearless, IMO, is definitely moving the morale system to being useless. I actually enjoy that there are actually things that break and run now as opposed to the olden days of everything was fearless.

Now if we could get leadership scores to not all be 9s and 10s...

AngelofSorrow
08-01-2013, 20:21
I would like to add that all the vehicles are essentially fearless.
Possessed and warp talons are fearless as well.
Looks to me that most of the units are fearless.


Ready for eternal war!

TheDungen
08-01-2013, 20:45
to differentiate them from loyalist space marines. They have already broken out of the psycho indoctrination that makes the space marines know no fear or they would not be serving chaos. Its not cowardice its self preservation, dying is a real bump in the road on your way to immortality after all.

and you have a problem with raptors running away? I would actually have more of a problem with them making a last stand.

Jericho
08-01-2013, 20:47
to differentiate them from loyalist space marines. They have already broken out of the psycho indoctrination that makes the space marines know no fear or they would not be serving chaos. Its not cowardice its self preservation, dying is a real bump in the road on your way to immortality after all.

and you have a problem with raptors running away? I would actually have more of a problem with them making a last stand.

I think Mr. Dembski-Bowden would have a problem with that, too (especially Night Lords being all brave and honourable!).

Chapters Unwritten
08-01-2013, 20:59
I think there are a lot of problems in this area with Chaos. I am starting the army and am having such a hard time building a worthwhile list that is anything but a wall of Rhinos, just to get survivability up and spread out units. I'm doing Word Bearers, but I can see a lot of reasons to be disappointed in the book. You end up either being worse marines with no ATSKNF/CCW/Razorbacks/Land Speeders/Drop Pods/Storm Shields/Whatever, or you become overpriced fluff and pay out the nose across your army for abilities (like Fearless) that should intrinsically be included to make you "Even" (or perhaps a bit better than) the average marine. This codex has done the total opposite of that.

I have always felt that, rather than Fearless, Chaos ought to just intrinsically have Stubborn as their version of ATSKNF (and maybe re-rolls to Sweeping advance tests). Call it "Death to the False Emperor" even. Make it like Chapter Tactics, where it gets replaced with a unique rule for each legion (just having a rule called something like Iron Within, Iron Without or Blood for the Blood God! would have been a great step to fan service that I was shocked to find nowhere in this book). Either way, I can believe them falling back...I can't believe them being helplessly cut down in melee.

It's pretty amazing that the only thing they have like this is a copy paste from fantasy that takes away one of the most important tactical decisions in the game, but whatever...the thought put into this was clearly on a low, low level.

I'm tempted to write a fan codex myself just to show how stupid easy it would have been to make this codex awesome.

Mauler
08-01-2013, 21:09
Couple points:

* not all chaos marines are 10,000 years old. There is nothing solid written but to me there aren't many of the original legionairies left save for demon princes or the very old veteran. Current marines can and do turn to the side of chaos, and many chaos warbands are not one legion but a collection of legions fighting for whatever cause they are fighting for at the moment (just like not all plague marines are death guard, not all tzeentch marines are rubric thousand sons, etc)

Now if we could get leadership scores to not all be 9s and 10s...

Perhaps, but the Black Library seems to go with there still being a fair few Heresy vets knocking about, so that's what I go with. I wasn't implying that a traitor's self-preservation in every case stems from surviving since the Heresy (but if they didn't have the good sense of when to retreat they probably wouldn't have survived for ten millennia) and I'm sure that some more recent converts to the Ruinous Powers are equally less likely to throw everything away by not running.

But yes, some lower Ld units would be nice to make the stat actually mean something and to make pinning weapons have a point again.

I think that Saturday will be the indicator as to how ATSKNF will be handled in 6th.

ftayl5
08-01-2013, 21:15
Chaos shouldn't be fearless. They're villains, if they're losing they'll happily live to fight another day. Not throw themselves stupidly at the enemy.

Spell_of_Destruction
08-01-2013, 21:17
Fearless is a rule that has been handed out like candy since it was introduced in 3rd edition. I'm all for it being scaled back. Pre-3rd ed the Ld stat actually meant something.

wyvirn
08-01-2013, 21:26
Chaos shouldn't be fearless. They're villains, if they're losing they'll happily live to fight another day. Not throw themselves stupidly at the enemy.

True, and I really don't have a problem with CSM having an upgrade that makes them fearless, especially if it has opportunity cost, such as being unmarked.


I think that overall, LD is a stat that has lost it's value. Almost everyone is either Fearless, ATSKNF, or ld 9+, and that takes the morale part of the rules out of the game mot of the time. It could be solved by cutting down on ATSKNF/Fearless and making 3 leadership test. Routine (3D6, discard highest), Normal (2D6), and Difficult (3D6). That way you could tailor the difficulty of the test to the situation.

ehlijen
08-01-2013, 21:26
Fearless doesn't mean 'super experienced hardened veteran', that's what high ld is about. Fearless means 'boneheaded idiot who doesn't know when a cause is lost'.

And for morale rules being so random, I think they're meant to be. Morale is an unknown factor, usually, right up until it's tested. There should just be a mechanic where morale penalties accumulate based on how much pressure a unit is under over time...
But mostly, the rules work when they're not made redundant by excessive fearlessness.

Darnok
08-01-2013, 21:35
Chaos shouldn't be fearless. They're villains, if they're losing they'll happily live to fight another day. Not throw themselves stupidly at the enemy.


Fearless is a rule that has been handed out like candy since it was introduced in 3rd edition. I'm all for it being scaled back. Pre-3rd ed the Ld stat actually meant something.

These two.

Leadership means almost nothing at the moment, and fearless units left, right and center are part of the problem. It should be cut from as many of those units as possible.

And I really don't get why CSM should be fearless. If anything, they gave up at the Imperial Palace when their leader was slain - you can hardly get any more fearfull than that? They are a bunch of brutal, opportunistic supperhuman killers. If the situation dictates that it is propably best to run, then they'll run. Standing and dying for some greater good is for the foolish underlings of the Emperor...

Lord Inquisitor
08-01-2013, 21:36
Couple points:

* not all chaos marines are 10,000 years old. There is nothing solid written but to me there aren't many of the original legionairies left save for demon princes or the very old veteran. Current marines can and do turn to the side of chaos, and many chaos warbands are not one legion but a collection of legions fighting for whatever cause they are fighting for at the moment (just like not all plague marines are death guard, not all tzeentch marines are rubric thousand sons, etc)

Well, at least the new book shows some distinction at all between new CSM and the old vets. I'd have liked to see more real difference here. The books like the IW series really seem to give a divide between age-old badasses that are insanely hard to kill and the main "meat" of the CSM being churned out through methods like the Daemonculaba and relatively untrained and inexperienced, if still ferocious and inhumanly strong.

For example make basic CSM WS4 BS3 S4 T4 W1 I3 A1 Ld7 and make VotLW give +1WS +1BS, +1I, +1A and +2Ld. Then you'd get a real difference.

I've on many occasions had surprise expressed by my opponents that my Troops are Fearless (Noise Marines), while my Terminators and Chosen are not Fearless. Ah, says I, that's how they get to be Chosen or Terminators - by not being that stupid.

carlisimo
08-01-2013, 21:48
...the law of large numbers makes large pools of dice tend towards the average, while isolated 2D6 rolls are more prone to extremes, and thus the point at which blind luck is most likely to dictate a game...

Thatís how morale tends to work in real life. In the past, the vast majority of casualties were taken after breaking, and for all I know it isnít terribly different nowadays either. All the little things that go into a squadís morale are almost as random as dice, and their effects really do determine the outcome of a fight. When it comes to rules, the extreme results could be smoothed out by allowing easy regrouping under certain conditions like being close to friendly squads. The more squads you have, and the longer the game, the less extreme a bad dice roll would be. But I think the randomness is completely appropriate, and 40k does need more morale effects.

squeekenator
08-01-2013, 22:33
That’s how morale tends to work in real life. In the past, the vast majority of casualties were taken after breaking, and for all I know it isn’t terribly different nowadays either. All the little things that go into a squad’s morale are almost as random as dice, and their effects really do determine the outcome of a fight. When it comes to rules, the extreme results could be smoothed out by allowing easy regrouping under certain conditions like being close to friendly squads. The more squads you have, and the longer the game, the less extreme a bad dice roll would be. But I think the randomness is completely appropriate, and 40k does need more morale effects.

It may be realistic, but that doesn't make it a good game mechanic. 40K should have more morale effects, but implementing them as simply rolling a couple of dice with almost zero situation-dependent modifiers to see whether a squad that could cost hundreds of points flees and becomes useless for a few turns or is outright killed is just dodgy game design.

Azazel
08-01-2013, 22:33
Not including vehicles in this:

HQ
9 Fearless (7 Special Characters)
3 Not Fearless

TROOPS
1 has the option to be Fearless (albeit the crappy Icon kind)
1 doesn't

ELITES
5 are Fearless
2 have the option to be Fearless
1 doesn't

FAST ATTACK
2 are Fearless
2 have the option to be Fearless

HEAVY SUPPORT
1 has the option to be Fearless
1 doesn't

Hardly a lack of Fearless units in the Codex.

TheDungen
08-01-2013, 23:56
I think one of the main reasons people are dissapointed with the chaos codex is that they keep looking at what we dotn get that the loyalists get. We dotn get cult terinators or razorbacks or all jump pack lists and fearless and so on. But you have to look at what we get that the loyalists does not. Once you realise that chaos is one power armour codex amongst others not half the power armoured codices (i'm not going to debate if it should be) you'll realise that chaos has more stuff that no other powered armour codex has than any other power armoured codex. Sure we have that we dont have (that everyone else does) than anyone else too but we cant count things that any loyalist chapter has towards the things we don't have, just the things they all have, and those thing are outweighed by what we do have.

You have to see C:CSM as one codex.

ehlijen
09-01-2013, 00:03
I didn't realise loyalist space marines got cult terminators?

As to the randomness of morale: That's what you get in a dice based game. Yes, a squad may cost several hundred points, but nothing should make them invincible. The more expensive something is, the more the player should have to worry about using it right. And for that the real risk of using the unit under bad circumstances must exist. And because we're using dice, freak results will also happen. The reason the morale rules seem so harsh is that fearless has been so common its true effects haven't sunk in for everyone.

Menthak
09-01-2013, 00:49
I see one re-occurring theme here IMO, Leadership is almost useless overall and I agree.

Most units in the game are Either Fearless (or Know no fear) or have a reasonably high leadership. For example as a Tau player I rarely take Pulse carbines because most units in the game don't care about pinning. I don't take bonding knives because my Units are as more to be wiped out entirely as they are to run away.

As a Marine player, I find that Marines will only be affected by death, not morale.

Same with Chaos really, most units that will be in a situation where morale will be important are fearless or have such a high leadership that it doesn't matter.

Infact (and this might just be my limited perspective) I have never really seen any units run unless they were guardsmen who'd just survived a Khorne Berserker charge. No-one ever ducks because of pinning weapons or runs away before combat because of psychological weapons.

Chapters Unwritten
09-01-2013, 01:27
The problem is a lot of the effects of leadership are from an old time. Leadership would be a great place to integrate modifiers for example.... But instead its used awkwardly just to send people screaming from battle or to get swept.

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2

squeekenator
09-01-2013, 01:36
I didn't realise loyalist space marines got cult terminators?

As to the randomness of morale: That's what you get in a dice based game. Yes, a squad may cost several hundred points, but nothing should make them invincible. The more expensive something is, the more the player should have to worry about using it right. And for that the real risk of using the unit under bad circumstances must exist. And because we're using dice, freak results will also happen. The reason the morale rules seem so harsh is that fearless has been so common its true effects haven't sunk in for everyone.

Randomness is an inevitable part of a dice based game, yes. And I agree that you should have to be careful with really expensive units, and that they shouldn't be invincible. But 40K's morale system does a terrible job of both those things. You can be as reckless as you like with your 1000pt deathstar unit, be forced to take a morale test every turn and approximately 60% of the time they'll suffer absolutely nothing as a result of it. On the other hand, there's a 1/12 chance they'll take just a single morale test and break from it. Compare that to a system like Epic's (which could very easily be ported over to 40K), which has a smooth scaling of morale rather than the binary totally fine/running for dear life of 40K, where you gradually get bigger and bigger morale-related penalties until eventually the squad breaks, where dice play a part because more dead people = worse squad morale, but it's not completely randomised and, thanks to a larger number of dice, tends towards average results with extremes being very rare, and because it's more reliable you can actually make morale a part of your game plan rather than just killing stuff and then hoping that, as an added bonus, their troops run away.

ehlijen
09-01-2013, 01:46
It's a design decision. If you have a gradual scale, you can judge how far you push a unit before it breaks. This all or nothing system is meant to make it an actual unkown factor. Morale isn't meant to be a part of the game plan or to be reliable, but rather a wild card that can mess with your plans and add some chaos and uncertainty to the game.

You might not like it, and alternatives might be better for gameplay, but I don't think this is the worst intent for a morale system to be had. 40k isn't a simulation, it's meant to be a fast paced spectacle. It could use a little more granulation, but the morale system would do its job just fine, if fearless wasn't so common.

izandral
09-01-2013, 02:09
the problem is not not having fearless, it's that ATSKNF is too powerfull for it's cost. Chaos space marines cost almost as much as space marines but one bad roll and you lose the whole unit. You can never easilly lose a unit of marines , they can't be overrun in assault , they can always regroup , you have to kill them all. That's too strong in my opinion

carlisimo
09-01-2013, 02:10
Compare that to a system like Epic's (which could very easily be ported over to 40K), which has a smooth scaling of morale rather than the binary totally fine/running for dear life of 40K, where you gradually get bigger and bigger morale-related penalties until eventually the squad breaks, where dice play a part because more dead people = worse squad morale, but it's not completely randomised and, thanks to a larger number of dice, tends towards average results with extremes being very rare, and because it's more reliable you can actually make morale a part of your game plan rather than just killing stuff and then hoping that, as an added bonus, their troops run away.

I love that mechanic in Epic, but it only works on a large scale like the one Epic tries to portray.

You can't predict what one individual is going to do, or five individuals - but a platoon's behavior is more predictable, and probably more rational. On a squad level, it really is a case of everything looking great until suddenly it falls apart.

Gaargod
09-01-2013, 02:59
I've never quite understood this argument. Perhaps with an entirely different morale system less fearlessness would be a good thing, but Warhammer has always had awful morale rules. Essentially they boil down to "if X happens, roll 2d6 and hope it's a low number". I don't see how a small chance after taking casualties to just lose an entire squad and a larger chance to suffer no consequences at all adds anything but stupid and unnecessary luck to the game. Even Fantasy's morale system is basically the same; when it comes to fear, terror and panic it's 40K's same old "roll 2d6 and pray"; even break tests are largely determined by having more dudes and killing more stuff than your opponent, which 40K's vestigal combat resolution system already rewards. Fantasy's combat res system only becomes cerebral and interesting due to the bonuses for flank and rear charges, but there's no reason to have an extensive, shoddily designed morale system for that. Just make flank charges give +1 to hit or something and you can make them every bit as rewarding without having a silly luck based morale system. In fact, that would probably work out better than the current system, because a lucky roll can still let you hold after taking a front, flank and rear charge simultaneously, whereas bonuses to hit, simply because you roll a lot more dice when attacking than when making morale tests, are far less affected by chance. If you get 40 attacks with +1 to hit from your rear charge it's still possible that you don't roll a single 3 with all those dice and your number of hits doesn't improve at all, but the chance of that happening is so incredibly low it's not worth worrying about, whereas a 2 on 2d6 isn't really that uncommon.


Oh hells no. Sorry, but I disagree with more or less everything you just said. The morale system in fantasy and 40k is indeed problematical, but your suggestions are... well, let's just say I disagree with them. For example, quite apart from anything else, giving +1 to hit is a only really a bonus to troops that like hitting stuff! Goblins, who were hoping to flank charge your chaos knights who were out of position, would get almost nothing from that, except for being hit less, instead of a nice +1 to combat res (charge + flank + 3 ranks + standard). Flank/rear charges of course used to be a lot more important when they negated rank bonuses (although no striking in multiple ranks helps) and you couldn't turn around in mid-combat with steadfast. Grrr.

Which, oddly enough, is far more realistic than any abstract +1 to hit. Why would you strike more accurately against them? But the enemy unit being thrown into disarray because they've been caught out of position... Yeah that makes perfect sense. If nothing else, go play the Total War games - they're not perfect, but they're reasonably good at depicting morale, and a unit which gets flank/rear charged on that tends not to stick around.


Now, admittedly, 40k morale does need changes. It's mostly a case of 'who got the most kills?' in combat; Hell, even its challenge system is stupid in that respect. And shooting isn't much better either.

Part of this problem is the uber-high leadership which is thrown everywhere. When your basic troops are Ld8, with a Ld9 sergeant for free, and your characters are Ld10, it's hardly a surprise that morale isn't as much of an issue as it should be. A related problem is psychic powers, which work off the same stat, hence most psykers have very high Ld to make their powers more reliable, but this simultaneously makes them excessively brave! 2, or possibly even 3, stats for what is currently Ld would work better (Willpower for psychic tests (maybe even related to Deny the Witch), and Leadership would be ok, but you could split the second one into Courage, which determines whether your troops will stay in place after losing men, and Leadership, which determines the funky stuff like Bonesword tests, etc).

Chapters Unwritten
09-01-2013, 03:13
I don't think the problem is high leadership. It's more the fact that morale is too devastating and GW's "simple all or nothing" game design makes it need to always be manageable or the game gets to be really unfair.

Morale should make your unit worse at what it does, and then they should break and run only when they have lost all hope. You don't need multiple extra stats, that is poor design philosophy. Leadership works fine, it's what it does that is far too devastating for this day and age of the game. It should be the way to alter units' capabilities; adding some more of the much maligned technical depth we all like.

Ssilmath
09-01-2013, 03:55
Yeah, no. If all it takes to reduce the BS of a Marine squad by 1 for the next turn is to kill 3 of them, I would much rather have the all or nothing approach. You'll get exactly the same thing as what happened to vehicles in 5th. The game will revolve around doing just enough damage to make a unit ineffective next turn, and then moving on to the next one.

Baaltor
09-01-2013, 04:31
I don't think the problem is high leadership. It's more the fact that morale is too devastating and GW's "simple all or nothing" game design makes it need to always be manageable or the game gets to be really unfair.

Morale should make your unit worse at what it does, and then they should break and run only when they have lost all hope. You don't need multiple extra stats, that is poor design philosophy. Leadership works fine, it's what it does that is far too devastating for this day and age of the game. It should be the way to alter units' capabilities; adding some more of the much maligned technical depth we all like.

Well, it's called "breaking" rather than, "slightly tarnishing" for a reason. That said, I'm all for some more granulation.


In all fairness they Know No Fear. Be a bit silly if they were subject to Fear really... :p

Well, the thing is that's just a saying, marines DO experience fear, it's just they're really good at managing it. The rule isn't really pertinent to its effect regardless, the rule represents their utter devotion to the emperor to a degree that they willingly lay down their lives with no heed for their safety. A chaos marine has at the very least, comparable attributes in terms of their stoicism, but they aren't willing to make a sacrifice, largely speaking, to a degree marines will.

Even if such a statement were true, a lot of fear effects are derived from magic, and marines' abilities are powerless against a lot of magic effects, such as bleeding from warp-fueled causes.


And I really don't get why CSM should be fearless. If anything, they gave up at the Imperial Palace when their leader was slain - you can hardly get any more fearful than that? They are a bunch of brutal, opportunistic supperhuman killers. If the situation dictates that it is propably best to run, then they'll run. Standing and dying for some greater good is for the foolish underlings of the Emperor...

Well, I think that's entirely unfair; their god just died! I'm a devout man of God, but if Jehova himself shows up in the second coming, and Azathoth shows up and rips his head off, you can bet I'll be running!

I've thought about this before, and I feel the problem is largely that every army has a reason, willpower, or discipline wise to have high, or average morale. The only way I could think of to fix this is to split them into a Command and Willpower stat. Throw in some orders like the guard have for everyone, and some army specific ones, and call it a day.

Voss
09-01-2013, 04:37
The only way I could think of to fix this is to split them into a Command and Willpower stat. Throw in some orders like the guard have for everyone, and some army specific ones, and call it a day.

Really? Because this made me smile a bit. Rogue Trader (and Fantasy) had the 4 psychology stats: Intelligence (certain wargear and weapons had a minimum), Cool (fear checks, essentially), Willpower (psychic tests) and Leadership. These were almost always identical or 2 were 1 point off from the others. Lets just say that having them split didn't help much.


I will also say that I find the initial premise (that the new Chaos SM book lacks fearless) to be completely wrong. A pile of units get it by default, and almost any unit can be given it. That... isn't lacking. That is an overabundance of units exempt from the basic rules of the game.

Baaltor
09-01-2013, 05:40
Really? Because this made me smile a bit. Rogue Trader (and Fantasy) had the 4 psychology stats: Intelligence (certain wargear and weapons had a minimum), Cool (fear checks, essentially), Willpower (psychic tests) and Leadership. These were almost always identical or 2 were 1 point off from the others. Lets just say that having them split didn't help much.


I'd agree that four is too much, but the problem is thatt with one, everyone has a reason to have a high Ld. Rogue Trader and Dark Heresy use two, and they get along just fine, with WP representing psychic stuff, and also morale.

Radu Lykan
09-01-2013, 08:17
[QUOTE=Baaltor;6578964]
A chaos marine has at the very least, comparable attributes in terms of their stoicism, but they aren't willing to make a sacrifice, largely speaking, to a degree marines will.

[QUOTE]

hehe, you have that wrong, chaos marines make a lot more sacrifices than loyal marines :P just a different sort

iamcjb
09-01-2013, 13:51
Because most SMs arent actually fearless, they are juat traines to show no fear.

However, I doubt CSM would show the same bravery, sacrifice and honour as their Imperial counterparts, so would tend to bail when the battle turns against them. They arent necessarily running scared, it's more of a "why should I die?" attitude.

Valaskjalf1414
09-01-2013, 15:38
And I really don't get why CSM should be fearless. If anything, they gave up at the Imperial Palace when their leader was slain - you can hardly get any more fearfull than that? They are a bunch of brutal, opportunistic supperhuman killers. If the situation dictates that it is propably best to run, then they'll run. Standing and dying for some greater good is for the foolish underlings of the Emperor...

Yes but running gets you shot in the back. So when my Marine enemy sweeping advances me and kills off the last 3 of my fleeing guys I should console myself in the fact that at least my guys dont serve an Emperor? Yeah..no. Then I might actually prefer for them to rather not flee and tie up the enemy, hope to do some damage, and thin out their numbers before they advance to make some more of my guys flee.

Another thing I read from some posters is that I can pay to get Fearless. Well great, but that means on average I pay about 20pts extra for a squad to get them not even on par with other Marines. Thats another nice 120pts or so that could have been spent on another entire unit or as buffs for Lords etc...and another 120pts any Loyalist gets for free to buff out their respective HQs etc. Thats just one of a long list of things wrong with this codex. We have endless choices, but in actual fact we dont really. GW made many of our units cheap and stripped down but before you know it you pay another 10-15pts to make them even remotely competitive to MEQs. On the flipside, you get stuff like Warp Talons which are severely overprices and you cant give them the upgrades they actually need...meaning a pointless unit

The Icons are another stupid gimmick...they give us 4 choices but because they nerfed just about all our models we are actually forced to buy the Icon of Vengeance. Obliterators which actually seem like one of our best Heavy Support get LD8 with no option to make them Fearless - which means in a squad of 3, if one guy dies the others will most likely run away or be killed - there goes my heavy support.

Unless they nerf every single Marine Codex out there in relation to ATSKNF, I will continue to bitch about this. I will keep a keen eye on the upcoming Dark Angels codex in this regard...

IcedCrow
09-01-2013, 15:54
trying to justify it using "real life" is pretty pointless because for every example one person puts out that justifies it, another person can nitpick it apart.

Voss
09-01-2013, 15:58
I'd agree that four is too much, but the problem is thatt with one, everyone has a reason to have a high Ld.

I rather disagree with this, there isn't any particular reason for it. LD is set high for most armies, but mostly its the special rules putting the game in easy mode for more or less everyone. Take that nonsense out, and its fine.

malisteen
09-01-2013, 16:14
CSMs don't have a lack of fearless. They have three fearless HQs (including two independent characters who can convey that fearlessness onto non-fearless units) not counting special characters, five fearless elite units (including four that can be fielded as troops), and a fearless fast attack units. They have several vehicle options that are, as per all vehicles, immune to morale rules, and five of their units that aren't already fearless can buy unit upgrades that make them fearless as long as the model carrying the upgrade survives. That's plenty of fearlessness. Maybe even too much fearlessness.

Of course, I do think stubbornness would have worked as an army-wide rule (if they weren't so stubborn, they wouldn't have turned from the emperor's light, after all, and stubborn is a melee rule accenting the melee leanings of the faction), but if implemented it would have made sense to simultaneously roll back the fearlessness of some of the CSM units (cult units, mainly), otherwise it just wouldn't effect enough of the faction to be worth bothering with.

I also agree that the 40k morale rules are... inelegant. It would be nice to have some sort of 'shaken' state between 'completely fine' and 'utter route'. But as for the specific question of the OP, I would agree with the poster who said '40k doesn't have too little fearless, it has too much ATSKNF', a special rule that is too good, and handed out too cheaply and too liberally to loyalist marine factions.

Shamana
09-01-2013, 17:14
The irony is, of all the Marine armies, Chaos should be THE army to have Fearless all the way through or have a substantial amount of Fearless units in the army. It just makes no sense to me....what do you guys think?

CSM does have a substantial amount of fearless units, imo. Plus, most units that aren't fearless can get it as an upgrade (mark mechanics aside), there are fearless HQs that can be fairly cheap, and there is a HQ with a LD 10 Aura. Daemonic units such as obliterators or mutilators not having better LD or fearless was surprising, but no, CSM doesn't really have a leadership problem.

wyvirn
09-01-2013, 17:19
Aren't daemonic units automatically fearless?

Shamana
09-01-2013, 17:31
Sadly no, that's one of the weird parts of the core book. They inspire fear, and get a 5++ save, but they aren't fearless. Which is quite weird, really, since Chaos Daemons have no reason to fear anything that happens in the physical world. Maybe they'd get it in their own book and the core rule is for warp-based creatures of all sorts that ping as daemons on the GK-dar, not just "actual" daemons.

Baaltor
09-01-2013, 19:48
Sadly no, that's one of the weird parts of the core book. They inspire fear, and get a 5++ save, but they aren't fearless. Which is quite weird, really, since Chaos Daemons have no reason to fear anything that happens in the physical world. Maybe they'd get it in their own book and the core rule is for warp-based creatures of all sorts that ping as daemons on the GK-dar, not just "actual" daemons.

The "Daemon" special rule doesn't mean that the possessor (no pun intended) is a daemon, rather that it is an entity with an enormous investiture of warp power within it. Obliterators, Avatars of Khaine, Mandarks (named for how dark and manly they are) and maybe even zoanthropes or other nids in future edtions, possess the powers of the special rule, despite not being "daemons". The 40k Universes' rules are coloured by the ignorance and inherent evil of man, and the names of many special rules honour that. Even the normal (poor choice of word perhaps...) chaos daemons are not actually "Daemons", they're a type of xenos from an alternate dimension parallel to ours in many ways, not the evil spirits of hell. The problem is most people in universe can't accept that, or even understand it; they just need to know in laymen's terms "Daemon's are bad, m'kay?".


CSM does have a substantial amount of fearless units, imo. Plus, most units that aren't fearless can get it as an upgrade (mark mechanics aside), there are fearless HQs that can be fairly cheap, and there is a HQ with a LD 10 Aura. Daemonic units such as obliterators or mutilators not having better LD or fearless was surprising, but no, CSM doesn't really have a leadership problem.

They do have a Ld. problem, I just think CSM aren't properly compensated for there lack of SM rules. Not to a degree that cripples them, or is even significant; in fact: I think that CSM should be a bit weaker than an equal point value of marines, just from a thematic perspective. We have weaker regular guys, but we also have access to WAY tougher guys, and WAY weaker guys. That gives us a lot of power in terms of Jockeying for position, being able to tie down our enemies with numbers, and being able to hit harder where we want to. By contrast, we lack the maneuverability of Marines, and we're different in that we traded our advanced tech for even more advanced tech in lower amounts, and daemonic weapons. I don't feel that these thing came across as well as they could have in the new book, but it's miles ahead of the last one to be sure.


I rather disagree with this, there isn't any particular reason for it. LD is set high for most armies, but mostly its the special rules putting the game in easy mode for more or less everyone. Take that nonsense out, and its fine.

But evidently there's still a problem, and adding two stats for ld. would fix it.

Imperial Guard (Avg in both)
Space Marines (Very High in both)
CSM (Variable) from cultists to Marines with both ends of spectrum
Daemons (Very low Cmd./Very high will)
Sisters (High in both)
Tau (Avg. in both)
Necrons (Low Cmd./High will) Possibly Low Will, with special rules similar to synapse that explode how they work, the ld. system I'm suggesting wouldn't do them any more justice than the current one does.
Eldar (Avg. Cmd./Med Will) Enhanced rules via Psychic powers
Dark Eldar (Avg. Cmd./Med will)
Tyranids (Low Cmd./Low Will) Special rules for synapse, with Synapse having high both
Orks (Low Cmd./low Will) Special mob rules for will in terms of both powers and morale

Suddenly you have a pretty solid split of High and low leaderships throughout the armies, and it clears up issues with units that previously had to be good at ld. to be competent psykers (arguably a psy level stat would help more though), and low ld. units that are ill discplined (Conscripts) or cowardly (Gaunts), yet inexplicably are vulnerable to psychic powers.



hehe, you have that wrong, chaos marines make a lot more sacrifices than loyal marines :P just a different sort

Oh you! You know what I meant. :P


Yes but running gets you shot in the back. So when my Marine enemy sweeping advances me and kills off the last 3 of my fleeing guys I should console myself in the fact that at least my guys dont serve an Emperor? Yeah..no. Then I might actually prefer for them to rather not flee and tie up the enemy, hope to do some damage, and thin out their numbers before they advance to make some more of my guys flee.

I think I found your problem. They don't full tilt and run out of fear, and get slaughtered. A sweeping advance represents overwhelming a unit by any means, and in the case of a more discipline experienced, not to mention armoured unit like CSM, it's assumed that they've merely lost coherency, had their weapons destroyed, or are falling back on orders due to having failing their objective, lost a key piece of equipment due to being overwhelmed or are similarly disrupted to the point that they don't take part in the larger battle.

The high Ld. Value they have represents their stoicism to the degree that only the pointless situations are the ones in which they flee.

Chapters Unwritten
09-01-2013, 20:40
Because most SMs arent actually fearless, they are juat traines to show no fear.

However, I doubt CSM would show the same bravery, sacrifice and honour as their Imperial counterparts, so would tend to bail when the battle turns against them. They arent necessarily running scared, it's more of a "why should I die?" attitude.This pretty much sums it up, but the problem is they have no way to regroup and they can be swept quite horribly. Some CSM 10-man squads can cost upwards of 300 points and still be wiped out by sweeping advance. They should make Chaos do something in reaction to that, and regroup easier, and it would fit much better.

KhornateLord
09-01-2013, 21:02
ATSKNF - Fluffy rule, but overly good for it's "points".
A simple fix would be to allow them to be destroyed by a sweeping advance.

It's all very well for them to fall back in the face of overwhelming firepower, and regroup automatically. That's a pretty damn good rule right there, and the fact they can act as normal in the following round is a nice bonus.
Being immune to the fear rule is also all very good and fluffy.

But if space marines are bested in combat, which can only happen if they are fighting a superior or lucky foe, then the squad should be destroyed (which doesn't mean the marines are killed, it just means they are scattered, lost, and otherwise unable to rejoin the fight) like every other troop.

The idea that they are "tactically withdrawing" is all very well, but why are they running? Because more of them died than the enemy. They are falling back in the face of something capable of butchering marines.

At the very least, there should be some advantage in the ensuing combat against the space marines. Some cost to them holding out. Whether they fight less adeptly in the following round, each model has to take an armour check, or the enemy gets some charge bonuses. Because at the moment not only are they prevented from being destroyed, but simply holding the line is a massive advantage in itself, and they deny their opponents a number of advantages by doing so.

Griefbringer
09-01-2013, 21:22
I also agree that the 40k morale rules are... inelegant. It would be nice to have some sort of 'shaken' state between 'completely fine' and 'utter route'. But as for the specific question of the OP, I would agree with the poster who said '40k doesn't have too little fearless, it has too much ATSKNF', a special rule that is too good, and handed out too cheaply and too liberally to loyalist marine factions.

Actually, back in the 2nd edition there used to be such a shaken status as an intermediate level of morale failure.

That said, it was a rule only for the loyalist marines, everyone else had only two statuses (OK and fleeing). If marines would fail a test, they would become shaken instead of fleeing, and if they would fail another test while still shaken, they would flee.

Flogger
09-01-2013, 22:26
ATSKNF should really be "immune to fear" and nothing more. That would be a good change.

Shamana
09-01-2013, 22:38
They do have a Ld. problem, I just think CSM aren't properly compensated for there lack of SM rules. Not to a degree that cripples them, or is even significant; in fact: I think that CSM should be a bit weaker than an equal point value of marines, just from a thematic perspective.

That's what I meant by saying they don't have a real Ld. problem. There are some issues, but they aren't that major and don't really hamper the army. The problems with the codex (which I think is mostly quite good) lie elsewhere imo.

pivich
10-01-2013, 00:22
slightly offtopic here

rumors being saying, that ATSKNF will be not wide represented in new DA codex, and mostly replaced with "Stubborn" USR

Excessus
10-01-2013, 03:19
slightly offtopic here

rumors being saying, that ATSKNF will be not wide represented in new DA codex, and mostly replaced with "Stubborn" USR
I think the rumours are saying that "Stubborn" might be their chapter tactics though...

Baaltor
10-01-2013, 03:22
ATSKNF should really be "immune to fear" and nothing more. That would be a good change.

Like I said before, not only do Marines experience fear, ATSKNF is idiomatic, and doesn't actually have anything to do with its effects. Doing that is like saying a model with eternal warrior is a just a warrior that lasts forever, doesn't die, doesn't take wounds, and doesn't get removed, and can never take up a job that's not soldiery; it's not literal.


Actually, back in the 2nd edition there used to be such a shaken status as an intermediate level of morale failure.

That'd be cool. The past edition had marines suffer from fearless wounds in close combat, the detriment of having fearless, but now, despite having that detriment removed, they don't even suffer from the detriment of not being able to take cover.

I'd like it a lot more if they kept the "No Retreat!" rules (and fixed them...), added the no go to cover rules for fearless they have now, and made ATSKNF just the ability to act as it fearless, but suffer the penalties. Instead now it's get 90% of the benefits, none of the disadvantages, and pay less than the cost of fearless.


Being immune to the fear rule is also all very good and fluffy.


Oh for the love of the Emperor! Here's a quotation: "The saying "And They Shall Know No Fear", is famously attributed to Space Marines. It means that they are exceptionally brave and motivated warriors, but it is not literally true: Most space Marines understand and experience fear, but they control it to a much greater degree than any normal man...."

Emphasis my own.

Chaos Marines have the same degree of personal control, if not better due to being conditioned with the more advanced techniques from the age of the Imperium, during which they can originate. But they do not share the same emotions of Marines, they are usually in it for themselves. Many examples exist of CSM who are, but they are by far in the minourity, save those who are cult troops, and have lost all degrees of sensibility, become so utterly dedicated to bloodshed that their own is no less tolerable than that of their enemies, are so inured to pain, death and suffering that dying holds no meaning to them, or are monsters that Jon Freeman feels bad for because they are zombie goasts.

CSM who are fearless are past beyond the veil of rationality to an even greater degree than most fearless troops are.

Seriously guys, don't ever watch the movie "White Men Can't Jump", you'll lose your minds next time you walk by a basketball court. XD


This pretty much sums it up, but the problem is they have no way to regroup and they can be swept quite horribly. Some CSM 10-man squads can cost upwards of 300 points and still be wiped out by sweeping advance. They should make Chaos do something in reaction to that, and regroup easier, and it would fit much better.

I don't know, I'm fine with that. If the CSM costed a point less, and had a stubborn or other minour rule, I'd be fine with the idea of playing SM without training wheels. Even now, the only reason I feel slightly ripped off is every SM book has a special rule to represent their how special their minour attitude difference effects their squads (stubborn, fearless, counter attack, furious charge combat squads, combat tactics etc.) while CSM that are EVEN MORE wildly deviant in attitude, and in many cases exceed the alleged personality trait that gives the SM chapters their special rules (IW vs. IF, or any khorne chapter vs. Blood Angels). It's not like Bad Moonz get free special weapons, Catachans have WS 4, or Iron Warriors have Stubborn, Marines shouldn't, quite literally, get special rules for what time of the month it is if the other armies don't.


That's what I meant by saying they don't have a real Ld. problem. There are some issues, but they aren't that major and don't really hamper the army. The problems with the codex (which I think is mostly quite good) lie elsewhere imo.

I was agreeing with you; "They do have a Ld. problem..." was meant ironically.

Spell_of_Destruction
10-01-2013, 06:32
I don't think the problem is high leadership. It's more the fact that morale is too devastating and GW's "simple all or nothing" game design makes it need to always be manageable or the game gets to be really unfair.

Morale should make your unit worse at what it does, and then they should break and run only when they have lost all hope. You don't need multiple extra stats, that is poor design philosophy. Leadership works fine, it's what it does that is far too devastating for this day and age of the game. It should be the way to alter units' capabilities; adding some more of the much maligned technical depth we all like.

I agree with this although 40k is always going to be a simplistic system and therefore a simple approach to this issue would be better.

My idea would be to reintroduce something similar to the old shaken rule Space Marines had in 2nd ed. First time a unit fails a morale check it doesn't break but is instead 'shaken'. In 2nd ed this was represented by the unit being unable to move but I think this led to some nonsensical scenarios (such as Space Marines who have just seen half their comrades cut down in an open field deciding they are going to stand still in said open field...). The rule I would introduce is as follows:-

If an unbroken unit fails a morale test by 2 or less it becomes 'shaken'. If the unit is not already in cover it must attempt to move into cover in its next movement phase. If a shaken unit ends its movement phase outside of cover it becomes broken. A shaken unit in cover may not move but may fire as normal (could possibly restrict this to snap fire?). If a shaken unit fails a further morale test it becomes broken. A unit that rolls 12 on a morale test is always broken.

Tweak above suggestion as desired.

Bubble Ghost
10-01-2013, 12:28
Before it's worth worrying about Ld values or granularity in the morale system, you'd need to get rid of the ludicrous way in which half the time, you actually want to flee - since in 40K, total cowardice is the only force powerful enough to teleport you out of a fight so that your mates can shoot your attackers. Don't be brave, you idiots! And this gets even worse when you factor in units with And They Shall Have Their Cake And Eat It, who are given a raft of buffs for failing a morale test and absolutely nothing for passing one. Like, for the Emperor, I guess.

So you'd basically have to get rid of the entire concept of an out-of-sequence "fall back move"; or else make the perverse benefits it grants a consequence of passing a test, not of failing one, or make them available by choice. Only then would it be worth worrying about anything else.

Baaltor
10-01-2013, 16:05
Before it's worth worrying about Ld values or granularity in the morale system, you'd need to get rid of the ludicrous way in which half the time, you actually want to flee - since in 40K, total cowardice is the only force powerful enough to teleport you out of a fight so that your mates can shoot your attackers. Don't be brave, you idiots! And this gets even worse when you factor in units with And They Shall Have Their Cake And Eat It, who are given a raft of buffs for failing a morale test and absolutely nothing for passing one. Like, for the Emperor, I guess.

So you'd basically have to get rid of the entire concept of an out-of-sequence "fall back move"; or else make the perverse benefits it grants a consequence of passing a test, not failing one, or available by choice. Only then you would it be worth worrying about anything else.

I agree with the falling back stuff profusely. In 4th, if I recall, you could choose to fail a morale test, and opt to fall back. The removal of that is very frustrating to me, but it's exacerbated by the fact that it was added back in for when a unit is unable to damage a unit with which it's engaged. The crunch of that idea is absurd to me, but the fluff is even worse; how do they precisely know which enemies they can and can't hurt? Half the monsters and tanks that are the target of such a ruling are arcanely ineffable to us, let alone the soldiers fighting them.

That's ignoring the fact that the rules writer illustrated that he didn't know the legacy of the rules, and instead of going back to better, more logical rules, elected to create one that makes no sense. I'll refrain from Ward bashing here, though.

Szalik
10-01-2013, 16:38
My first problem with both 40k and WFB was always morale. I think that Space Marines are so popular also because they are protected by rules from being removed from the field by this ridiculous morale system.

It is simply dumb that it is possible to remove a whole unit of let's say 10 models by one model in a game turn after the blows were struck (it happened to me more than once that an unit of old necron warriors was removed from a game field in a 1 turn of combat thanks to the....Ork Copta who killed 1 model ?). When I was still eager to correct the official rules, my idea was that when an unit wins a turn of cc and their enemies fail both morale and I, then the winning side immediately receive a free CC turn. They still have to hit them and wound, no "free kills". And of course I agree that a player should be able to remove his units from combat by opting to fall back. The more options You have the better.

To be honest I have nothing against units being immune to this "morale" bs served by GW, I believe that the more control You as a player have over Your units the better for the game and the skill of playing the game. That's why current, random oriented rules do not suit me well.

Macok
10-01-2013, 17:58
They really should have changed ATSKNF. It does not make any sense. Sure, give SMs some LD bonus, stubborn, auto-regroup mechanic. However, the current iteration feels like it has nothing to do with morale / fear but with very impressive running ability.

We lost our cool and our enemies didn't let us run - no hindrance. At least this situation does make some sense. In the event of overwhelming enemies SM 'cinematically' stand their ground. But the:
"We lost the fight and we failed our morale so unlike any other we are awarded with ability to move incredibly fast and shoot heavy weapons"? That's not controlling ones fear, that's retreat expertise. Being awarded because someone else was better? ATSKNF should be called "plot armour" or "hit and run and shoot".

And no. There is no chance in hell the SMs of all flavours are going to be relieved of ATSKNF. If morale is to have more impact in 6th edition it's not going to affect the marines.

Chapters Unwritten
10-01-2013, 21:26
This edition of the game was rumored to have had a 'suppression' effect, where a unit could do everything but shoot, and counted as being in difficult and dangerous terrain. Would be interesting...

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2

Angry SisterOfBattle Nerd
11-01-2013, 02:35
"And They Shall Know No Fear But Run Away Like Girls" :rolleyes:
Eh, my girls have leadership 9, with Fearless or Ld10 stubborn HQ, they stand their ground most of the time :P.

Even though they don't have the “And they shall know no penalty for loosing a Leadership test” unlike half of the codex of the game, which kind of defeat the purpose of the morale system.

Before it's worth worrying about Ld values or granularity in the morale system, you'd need to get rid of the ludicrous way in which half the time, you actually want to flee - since in 40K, total cowardice is the only force powerful enough to teleport you out of a fight so that your mates can shoot your attackers. Don't be brave, you idiots! And this gets even worse when you factor in units with And They Shall Have Their Cake And Eat It, who are given a raft of buffs for failing a morale test and absolutely nothing for passing one. Like, for the Emperor, I guess.

So you'd basically have to get rid of the entire concept of an out-of-sequence "fall back move"; or else make the perverse benefits it grants a consequence of passing a test, not of failing one, or make them available by choice. Only then would it be worth worrying about anything else.
Words of wisdom !

Oran
11-01-2013, 03:45
I would like to add that all the vehicles are essentially fearless.
Possessed and warp talons are fearless as well.
Looks to me that most of the units are fearless.


Ready for eternal war!

Perhaps that is a bias because you use those units. To someone who never uses them it would hardly seem like the options are there. Personally if I don't take a unit its because I see no value in it and will never take it and for all intents and purposes it isn't in the codex.

Ssilmath
11-01-2013, 04:28
Perhaps that is a bias because you use those units. To someone who never uses them it would hardly seem like the options are there. Personally if I don't take a unit its because I see no value in it and will never take it and for all intents and purposes it isn't in the codex.

Yeah, but that is on you. To claim that there is a lack of Fearless units in the codex, when 7/16 available are Fearless and 6 more can be made Fearless, is a complete and utter lie. Just because you do not take those units/upgrades does not remove them from the codex.

Lord_Byron
11-01-2013, 05:41
Fearless is over done in 40k, maybe 40k is attempting to be a better, more cerebral game than i used to be, where leadership and morale based rules actually have a point?

Leadership and morale have always had a point in 40K: Punishing Xenos. ;)

malisteen
11-01-2013, 10:12
The book has some problems.

It's a bit duller than it should be,

the cult marines (a very iconic aspect of the CSM faction) didn't get the serious overhaul they desperately required,

some points costs seem to be determined by dartboard (frequently resulting in overpriced units and options, occasionally resulting in underpriced options like bikes which is, imo, just as bad),

there's internal balance and redundancy issues (not necessarily worse than average for 40k books, but average for 40k books isn't good),

the decisions and design that went into our new stuff is all questionable (nigh optionless, half-functional heroes ported in without thought or effort from loyalist marines, new AV12 walkers in an edition that doesn't like AV12 walkers when we already had more AV12 walkers than we used, two expensive, gunless, grenadeless, overly narrow melee specialist units that are redundant with other options we already have, and an underpriced flier that's way more durable than fliers should be in 6e; no thematically required drop pods, no assault transport to allow our multiple expensive, fragile, infantry speed assault specialists to function, no new special characters to support IW/AL/NL/WB players, no Cypher/Fallen to support a rivalry with the other starter box faction),

many of the problems from the previous book went either unaddressed or insufficiently addressed or were somehow made worse (cult units again, possessed),

there seemed to be no thought as to the effects of the changes in 6th edition (no appropriate transport for the infantry assault units, very little in the way of anti air options, just an overpriced flakkmissile options on havocs and a flier that's far better at targeting infantry than other aircraft),

the Champions of Chaos and Boon Table are poorly thought out rules that offer major disadvantages for a very small chance at any meaningful benefit, while our individual characters are no where near frightening enough in challenges to be worthy of such a serious disadvantage (unlike in Fantasy, where chaos champions are significantly more intimidating in challenges than their equivalents in most other factions)...


But a lack of fearlessness I don't think can really be called a problem. A couple units do have some leadership issues - Oblits are far too happy to run off the field, CSMs and Chosen, given their melee leanings, are too likely to be completely lost to a single botched assault round, further pushing both units into shooting roles when assault roles should be (and the designers clearly intended them to be) viable for them. Cultists also have issues when being used as a screening blob, but their low leadership doesn't seem so out of step with their characterization, and there are tools to deal with it. If the apostle had the 12" fearless aura of the DA chaplain, or if its leadership aura were 12", it would be fine, and there might be more of a point to fielding one.

I would have liked to see 'stubborn' as a standard faction rule for Chaos Marines (possibly replacing fearless on the cult units), and 'fearless' on the other daemonic units, but I just can't see this as that major a problem. Mostly it's just another annoying little issue in what seems to be a litany of annoying little issues with the book, almost all of which stem from its most fundamental failing: it's an evolutionary change to the 4e book when a revolutionary change was called for.

RunepriestRidcully
11-01-2013, 10:48
I personally think ATSKNF should be ditched completely, as at the moment it just seems stupid that eldar aspect warriors, chaos terminators can be wiped out by sweeping advance or flee off the board, but space marine scouts and bog standard marines don't? It just needs to go or for loyalist marines to get a 3-5pts hike.

Hendarion
11-01-2013, 10:51
Ive been wracking my brain the past month of so trying to understand the logic behind GW making so few units Fearless in the new codex. Apart from Characters,the 4 cult choices and Spawn no other units can be Fearless. Instead the VotlW is simply a gimmick, improving your LD at a cost yet still not making any units fearless. The biggest joke is Obliterators being LD8, the same as a Wolf Scout - Regular SW Grey Hunters have "ATSKNF", yet a Fear-causing raptor will run away if things get too tough.
They don't run away because of fear. They run away because they don't feel like dying. That's a difference. Space Marines are proud warriors, the symbol of faith and strength, they see themselves as protectors and idols. They are morally obliged to stand, fight and die no matter what.

Chaos doesn't. Chaos fights when they think chances are well and the situation serves them. They are selfish and reckless. If they see they will lose the fight, why die? Simply retreat and the let the other junk die instead. They are treacherous. It hasn't anything to do with fear, but with lack of being stubborn.
The LD value reflects that. It does not only show how much someone is immune to fear, it shows how much he is morally connected to the rest of their army and how much he cares of leaving the others behind and just think of its own live.

KhornateLord
11-01-2013, 11:13
They don't run away because of fear. They run away because they don't feel like dying. That's a difference. Space Marines are proud warriors, the symbol of faith and strength, they see themselves as protectors and idols. They are morally obliged to stand, fight and die no matter what.

Chaos doesn't. Chaos fights when they think chances are well and the situation serves them. They are selfish and reckless. If they see they will lose the fight, why die? Simply retreat and the let the other junk die instead. They are treacherous. It hasn't anything to do with fear, but with lack of being stubborn.
The LD value reflects that. It does not only show how much someone is immune to fear, it shows how much he is morally connected to the rest of their army and how much he cares of leaving the others behind and just think of its own live.

I think that's a problem with it though.

ATSKNF does far more than that though.
Falling back, to many shooty armies in 40k is an advantage MOST of the time.
ATSKNF rather than Fearless, means that you have that advantage: your troops can try and fall back.

The normal RISKS of such a manouver (even if it's not a deliberate one) are that you have to rally your troops (which ATSKNF does automatically), and you run the risk of being overrun (which ATSKNF does automatically).

Now this is a universal SM rule, that applies for (what appears to be) free.

I can understand a rule of this magnitude applying to terminators: After all, they are super-veterans and elite. They lead by example, and overrunning terminators may be of little real value anyway. I can understand marines automatically rallying.

What I can't understand is this:

1. Why do they avoid instant overrun death, which every non-fearless unit faces in 40k?
2. Why can they act on the turn they rally. In fact, including the 3" move they get, they are actually more mobile after withdrawing!
3. Why don't marines have a price premium to include these benefits?

Hell, make it optional like Veterans of the Long war. That way you can apply it to your elite squads, but at the price premium it deserves.
Some of the biggest issues with 40k balance, aren't mechanics, they are points costs.

Orks prove that poor units, have an effective price point.

We all know that all-round good units, have an awesome place. The toughest armies in 40k are both caused by what can best be described as having damn good units, at too low a price point.

Bubble Ghost
11-01-2013, 11:30
I personally think ATSKNF should be ditched completely, as at the moment it just seems stupid that eldar aspect warriors, chaos terminators can be wiped out by sweeping advance or flee off the board, but space marine scouts and bog standard marines don't? It just needs to go or for loyalist marines to get a 3-5pts hike.

It's not so much not being swept that's stupid. I could get on board with that as a unique buff. It's the free movement afterwards that removes all penalties for morale failure, while leaving the benefits that should not exist in the first place intact. A morale failure for Space Marines is an instantaneous teleport. That is literally all it is.

In combat, a marine unit holds its nerve, and nothing happens; but if they fail a stat check, they are completely freed up, and if they want, they can even go back into assault with the unit that just beat them, only now they've got extra attacks and they had a free round of shooting on the way in just for good measure, all as a reward for cowardice. It is so absurdly beneficial that, completely shamelessly, they added a special rule to one flavour of marines allowing them to intentionally gain effects identical to that of morale failure.

Take a step back and look at that lucidly: the indomitable, IP-defining faction are set apart by having magical powers of running away. That is what they are best at compared to other factions. Cowardice truly is the most powerful force in the 40K universe. "Flee for the Emperor! May His divine Yellow Belly watch over us!!"

It is just incompetent game design. It really is. It is in a whole different world of broken compared to whatever your other pet peeves with the system might be, and I really can't understand how people who call themselves professional game designers can repeatedly fail to address a system so mechanically clumsy that you are encouraged to want to fail at things.

RandomThoughts
11-01-2013, 13:03
Before it's worth worrying about Ld values or granularity in the morale system, you'd need to get rid of the ludicrous way in which half the time, you actually want to flee - since in 40K, total cowardice is the only force powerful enough to teleport you out of a fight so that your mates can shoot your attackers. Don't be brave, you idiots! And this gets even worse when you factor in units with And They Shall Have Their Cake And Eat It, who are given a raft of buffs for failing a morale test and absolutely nothing for passing one. Like, for the Emperor, I guess.

So you'd basically have to get rid of the entire concept of an out-of-sequence "fall back move"; or else make the perverse benefits it grants a consequence of passing a test, not of failing one, or make them available by choice. Only then would it be worth worrying about anything else.

Thanks for reminding me once again why I don't play 40K anymore. It's not that I don't want to, but the hassle seems so much bigger than the gain these days, with alternate systems to play around...

Great post, by the way.

Bubble Ghost
11-01-2013, 13:39
It's the thing that comes nearest to making me quit. You see it at least once a game - that frustrated but resigned sagging of the shoulders and sighing, as a player's troops have the temerity to be brave, thus bestowing magical immunity to incoming fire on their foes.

I have a lot of good will towards 40K at the moment, though, because although they did nothing to fix this biggest flaw, 6th ed made huge strides in other areas. There are much better games, but the size of the community makes up the difference for me - the universe is fun and you can always find plenty of opponents. Other games seem like companion hobbies, rather than competing alternatives, in light of that.

Xerkics
11-01-2013, 13:54
Like was said before Marines have ATSKNF because they are brainwashed zealots., they dont know any better. Chaos marines do. And i agree that fearless is overused , if you want something to have fearless just look at necron warriors literally undead lobotomized robots even they apparently have sense of self preservation and if they dont have it, neither should most of the other stuff. Mostly it makes sense for Tyranids in synapse with instincts overriden by hive mind,daemons cause they are eternal , brainwashed zealots and ai/robots( canoptek) to be fearless and little else.

malisteen
11-01-2013, 15:26
It's the thing that comes nearest to making me quit. You see it at least once a game - that frustrated but resigned sagging of the shoulders and sighing, as a player's troops have the temerity to be brave, thus bestowing magical immunity to incoming fire on their foes.

I do hate that, when success means failure and vice versa, when you want your models to fail. It's so counter-intuitive, it just sucks you right out of the moment. And while morale / breaking from combat is the biggest and most pervasive example of that, there are other examples as well. Such as the misery of accidentally wiping out the enemy squad when you charge instead of leaving a few alive. I've had times where I roll double sixes with my fancy assault unit, meaning that all of them will get into combat to attack, and all of the enemy will have to suffer blows, and that should be a kickass moment for me. But instead, I slump my shoulders, and my opponent cheers, because that means his whole squad will die in my turn, and he'll then get to shoot at me in his.


CSMs even have their own very special case of such counter-intuitive "success means failure" game design, although it should come up only rarely. Due the the CoC rule & boon table, it is possible for your chaos lord to be elevated to a daemon prince in the middle of the game, which should be awesome! Except that you have to place the giant new base so it's within 3" of your character's previous position, and not overlapping your models, and not within an inch of the enemy, and since Boon rolls are generally the result of challenges, you're already in a big messy scrum, which means it's very possible that your prince might be unplaceable - which means your character just dies. Even if you can place the model, it's now no longer engaged in close combat, which means that if it happens on your turn, you're character, who had been "safe" in close combat, can now be freely picked out by all your opponent's shooting.

And the real kicker? Even if you can place the model, even if it happens during your opponents turn so it isn't immediately shot dead, if your lord or sorcerer or special character is "elevated" to daemon prince, that's going to be an outright downgrade, as it doesn't get any of the options that princes can otherwise take that actually makes them good (flight, daemon weapon, etc), and it looses everything your lord used to have - boon roles, psychic powers, bike/jump/terminator etc - even the stuff that a prince would otherwise have been able to take!

So now, what should be a rare and fantastic moment of triumph, something that should be awesome for chaos players when it happens, is instead entirely detrimental, and almost always ends up playing in your opponents favor, and it's just counter-intuitive and unfun.


Not a major thing, rarely ever happens, doesn't ruin the book. But it's just terrible game design when something that should be good is bad and vice versa. Players shouldn't be cheering when their own models fail morale tests or are wiped out in a single round of close combat, and they certainly shouldn't be cheering when the enemy's warlord becomes a daemon prince in the middle of the game.

AngelofSorrow
11-01-2013, 20:01
Perhaps that is a bias because you use those units. To someone who never uses them it would hardly seem like the options are there. Personally if I don't take a unit its because I see no value in it and will never take it and for all intents and purposes it isn't in the codex.

It sounds like you have the bias. We are simply talking about the options that are there.


Ready for eternal war!

theJ
12-01-2013, 20:40
I'd recon the reason everyone gets precautions against morale is because it's so devastating when it happens. Having the varying stages of "failing morale" mentioned earlier might make it better, to wit;

If failing a morale check(while in melee), you suffer the effects of fear and also have to take a further morale check.
If failing the second morale check, you suffer the effects of fear and have your attacks halved(I'm thinking of calling it "terrified"), and also have to roll yet another dice.
If you fail this third and final check, you break, using the rules we all know and love.
Of course, since you suddenly need to fail thrice, breaking will(miracles aside, obviously) only ever happen when getting absolutely devastated in combat, at which point it should still happen regularly. Meanwhile, getting a more "standard" victory should suddenly give you an actual bonus, even if the enemy unit holds.

If failing a morale check and unengaged, you count as pinned. This is both for gameplay and fluff reasons.
Let's be honest, if your comrades are falling all around you due to overwhelming firepower, then even a space marine is going to dig in as far as he is able(and the codex would probably support it), while even the most cowardly of guardsmen wouldn't answer by abandoning what little cover they have and rushing straight across the battlefield.
Gameplaywise, failing a morale check would remove that squad from play for a turn, as opposed to the whole game. lessening the impact considerably, while still keeping the morale check meaningful.

As for ATSKNF, I'd either remove it entirely, or change it to something that is actually fun to play with, such as, oh I dunno... getting a bonus for PASSING a morale check?(the first one, that is)